Total Divas gives personal insight to WWE Divas like Naomi (r) who got married on the show to current WWE superstar Jimmy Uso.
By Charles Glover, Jr.
As many reality television franchises continue their run, the women associated with the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) are demonstrating a wide range of positive images. From the top of the organization to the less known “Divas,” the WWE has worked diligently to reshape the images it displays of the women in the company. Some fans may think of the WWE Divas as merely attractive women, but the WWE is making progress in demonstrating that the women associated with the WWE brand are good owners, managers, announcers, ring performers, and entertainers.
The Chief Brand Officer of the WWE is Stephanie McMahon, who is front and center in reshaping the image of women in the WWE.
The WWE has come a long way in the portrayal of the women in the company. While there have been a number of women who gained notoriety because of expertise in the ring, the WWE had a long period of ‘eye candy’ for their mostly male demographic. While there has been an expectation that the women of the WWE would bring a different type of charm to the show, there were periods where it seemed borderline exploitive.
Previous WWE Divas like “Sunny,” Terri Runnels, “Sable,” Candace Michelle, and Torrie Wilson had roles that showcased their bodies more than anything else. The trade-off for these women was that it allowed them to make additional money outside of the company through modeling. The WWE would have eight different Divas pose for Playboy Magazine, including Sable, Michelle, and Wilson.
Trish Stratus (l) and Lita (r) were excellent in-ring performers that also accentuated their bodies during their time in WWE. Both have been elected into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Most of those women worked for the WWE during the “Attitude Era” (1997- 2003)during which the company was geared to more mature audiences. As that era ended, the company refocused its attention on audiences that were not targets of the Attitude Era: children and women. The WWE was able to bridge the gap with attractive women who were also able to perform well in the ring. However, there was still an expectation at times that the women would participate in matches that would have them in very revealing gear. The biggest stars of this period, Trish Stratus and Lita are now WWE Hall of Famers, demonstrating that they made a lasting impact in the company.
Some of the members of the show Total Divas (l – r); Naomi, Cameron, Natalya, Brie Bella, Nikki Bella
Currently, the WWE Divas are all expected to be competent in-ring competitors. The WWE continues to employ attractive, fit women, but they are also incredibly athletic and charismatic as well. Additionally, their presence is seen in more areas than just the ring. The show Total Divas gives WWE fans an opportunity to see what goes on in their personal lives.
Currently, the WWE is giving Tamina Snuka (l) and Divas Champion Paige (r) a chance perform at highest level including at last Sunday’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view event.
Divas like Cameron, Naomi, Nikki and Brie Bella, and Natalya are able to translate their popularity on Total Divas to further their WWE careers. Other “Divas” like former Divas Champion AJ Lee, Tamina Snuka, Layla, Alicia Fox and current Divas Champion Paige have opportunities on WWE shows regularly.
Smackdown General Manager Vickie Guerrero (r) has been in a position of power within the WWE for years as was AJ Lee (l) for a brief period.
The strongest female representation comes from the current Chief Brand Officer and on-screen “Authority” member, Stephanie McMahon. McMahon, daughter of WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon, has evolved as on-screen character, taking on a leadership role and showing a woman in power in a sport dominated by men. McMahon teams with her husband Paul Levesque, also known as triple H, to show a woman in an authoritative position on WWE shows. Additionally, the WWE employs Vickie Guerrero, widow of former WWE superstar Eddie Guerrero, as general manager on Friday Night Smackdown. Guerrero has held her position of power within the company for several years.
The WWE has made diversity a point of emphasis as well. Alicia Fox (l) and Layla (r) have worked for Stephanie McMahon (c) and the WWE for the last several years.
The WWE has changed the way it chooses to portray the women in the company by maintaining a high standard for female talent while showing value for much more than just their physical attributes. The WWE is more visible than it has ever been, with its shows viewed in over 100 countries and now streaming online 24 hours a day with the WWE Network. It seems like the WWE has chosen to take the responsibility to showcase the many different talents that women in the firm possess.–OnPointPress.net–
Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a management training consultant. Follow me @0penWindowMES on Twitter.com.